The 25-year-old was convicted of using a mobile phone while driving his white Range Rover on July 13.
Ferdinand was banned because he already had 12 points on his licence from a previous offence.
The defender, of Baltic Quays, Newcastle, spoke only to answer his name and address during the brief hearing before Newcastle magistrates.
He was fined £1,000, ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Prosecuting, Kerry Gate said Ferdinand was stopped by a police officer who had followed the defender from the Tyne Bridge to Ponteland Road, two miles away.
Mrs Gate said: "He was leaning towards the centre of the car as if leaning on an armrest and had his mobile telephone in his left hand against his left ear.
"As the officer drew up alongside, he realised he was a police officer and immediately put the phone down from his ear."
Ferdinand told the officer he was on his way to the airport and that he had needed to take the call, which was from his mother.
Asked whether it was an emergency, he replied: "Not an emergency, but it needed to happen."
The court heard Ferdinand had served a previous six-month driving ban imposed in May 2007, after exceeding the points limit.
Mitigating, Anthony Senior said Ferdinand had answered a call from his mother about a personal family matter.
He said: "It was of paramount importance to him. He realises it was a silly thing to do."